National in chaos: MP says Judith Collins must resign

Source: 1News

The National Party is in disarray, with one MP calling for leader Judith Collins to resign.

Collins on Wednesday night announced she had demoted Simon Bridges for comments of a sexual nature he allegedly made in 2017.

1News understands the comments were made in front of MP Jacqui Dean, but not about her.

A complaint was made at the time to then-leader Bill English.

Despite saying she had the full support of the board, Collins’ actions haven’t gone down well with her caucus.

It’s understood a leadership challenge may be on the cards this morning.

Arriving at Parliament, Simon O’Connor, Bridges’ brother-in-law, made his feelings clear.

“One thing is abundantly clear to me, that’s Judith Collins must resign,” he told reporters.

“Her actions are just downright appalling, the way this has been handled.”

Christopher Luxon, tipped by some as a potential leader, said what had taken place and any possible battle for leadership would be a matter for caucus.

Melissa Lee would not comment, while Mark Mitchell said he would speak after caucus.

Bridges himself told media Collins’ actions were “truly desperate stuff”.

“There’s a huge amount I want to say about what happened yesterday and how wrong it was and I assure you I will but I want to talk to my caucus first and be very clear with them about what I think and about what I think should happen for the National Party,” Bridges said from outside the Beehive.

Last night, Collins issued a statement which said the decision was made with unanimous support of the National Party board.

“The case relates to comments made by Mr Bridges to a female caucus colleague at a function a number of years ago.”